The residents of Whithorn, Westmoreland now have an outlet for their sporting passions, thank to the construction of a multi-purpose court, with perimeter fencing as well as changing rooms, funded and carried out by the Digicel Foundation.
The formal presentation took the form of a workday and handover with Digicel team members painting the changing rooms and installing the doors. The official handover saw the court being ‘christened’ with an exhibition netball match between the Digicel team and the Whithorn Police Youth Club team, as well as a volleyball match between two of the community teams.
Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation, Maj. General Robert Neish, said the Foundation was mindful of the importance of channeling the innate sporting talent of communities such as Whithorn through as these small arenas were often the springboard for such talent to reach the national and international stage.
Superintendent Maurice Robinson of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Westmoreland Division charged the community members to play with discipline and a commitment to excellence.
The community is very sports-oriented,” says vice-president Sandra Thomas, “so having this court means a great deal to us and will help to enhance the development of the community by keeping our young people occupied.” Ms Thomas added the community will be seeking to stage fund-raising events to cover the maintenance of the facility and provide security.
Meisha Cope, vice president of the Club lauded the Digicel Foundation for its involvement with the project and informed the audience during the ceremony that since the construction of the multipurpose facilities, there has been a significant increase in the club membership, especially among the male gender.
The Digicel Foundation proactively helps to empower communities and promote self-reliance through its support for skills training, education, sports and other social programmes. Through these activities, the Foundation aims to build community spirit across Jamaica.
Digicel established the Digicel Foundation in 2004. Among other projects implemented by the Foundation are:
· J $1 million and an 8-seater van to the Jamaica Society for the Blind, to aid transportation and purchase visual aids.
· JJ$9 million construction of Flower Hill Basic School in St. James.
· J$2 million Reading Resource Centre and Mini-Library for Savanna-La-Mar Prep and High School in Westmoreland
· J$2.3 million Reading Resource Room for Knockalva Technical High School, located in Hanover.